Automotive Manufacturing Contamination Control in facilities and controlled environments, is essential to ensure that manufacturing areas and other facilities are kept free of contaminants.
However strange it may seem to think, spraying paint and building cars involves similar strategic planning towards contamination control as a clinical trial or drug processing would.
There are two main contaminant factors at play in vehicle manufacture:
Firstly, particulate contamination – such as dust and debris reaching the spray-painting area and areas where parts are prepared for painting.
When a consumer spends thousands of pounds on a brand new car, the finished result is expected to be perfect.
Particulate Contamination, can either be inanimate or inorganic, such as residue from manufacturing processes such as abrasions, grinding waste or dust from local surroundings.
Dust and particles getting into the paintwork may not only damage the aesthetics, but can also cause gaps in the paintwork which would eventually lead to water reaching the chassis/body underneath and rusting to take place.
Great lengths are gone to by auto manufacture companies to make sure that these pollutants, which are often air bound or are bought in on the feet and wheels of employees/trolleys, can be removed from the environment in much the same way as a laboratory or other sterile zone.
For many in the automotive industry, contamination sensitive products, there are requirements for production environments to have a certain level of cleanliness.
At present, cleanliness analysis plays an important role in the automotive industry which has established international standards for analysis of component cleanliness. Validation techniques for cleanliness have been discussed which ascertain the degree of cleanliness via the use of a quantitative approach involving particle analysis.
The second issue is electrostatic discharge, a problem that has been prevalent in the technology industry, as the development of electrical items has rendered them more prone to damage by electro-static.
Electrostatic discharge and how to combat it, has been a relevant talking point in automotive manufacturing for years, and it is essential for automotive manufacturers to avoid ESD and any potential hazards to ESD at all costs.
In the same way as the electronics industry, Electrostatic can cause issues with car electronics in the same ways as for the manufacture of mobile phones, computers, radios and more.
One of the most other common ways it can occur, is through human contact with sensitive devices. The human touch is only sensitive on ESD levels that exceed 4000 Volts.
Occurrences like rapid movement of air near electronic equipment, such as compressed air to blow dirt away from manufacturing areas , circulating fans blowing on equipment can increase the chances of the accumulation of static charges forming and causing hazardous consequences to your automotive products.
If you want to find out about ESD in detail, please check our dedicated ESD Page.
Dycem Contamination Control Floor Mats are made using a special and unique polymeric blend.
It has been proven that Dycem’s polymeric flooring, (which is naturally tacky as opposed to tacky or sticky adhesive mats, which are usually smeared with glue) contribute to a 75% reduction in airborne contaminants.
With the ability to embed particulate within its structure, rather than bind it with surface adhesive, as is done with a mat you tear off, Dycem Contamination Control Solutions are able to capture and retain contaminants, until wiped away with a damp mop and then squeegeed dry.
Our mats have the lifetime of approximately 3-5 years, depending on use and how they are kept.
Within their Powertrain Divisions, the risk of cross contamination and static charge is a grave concern and Continental are always looking for the most innovative and proven solution to help reduce risks.
During the past couple of years Continental have been using peel-off mats to help control contamination and cross contamination at entrances for personnel and within material transfer areas, however the heavier traffic flows within these areas were proving too much for using this type of flooring solution.
Dycem was specified and has been installed for a number of years within personnel entrances, material transfer areas and airlocks.
“The superior efficiency and simplicity of the Dycem system allows us to control heavier traffic scenarios.”